Continental and United airlines will let some passengers with paperless tickets change flights from one carrier to the other without having a paper ticket.
Starting today, the carriers will issue a single electronic ticket for customers whose itinerary includes both carriers. Generally, passengers with electronic tickets must get a paper ticket before they can rebook on another carrier because airlines usually don`t have access to each other`s electronic-ticket data base.
Houston-based Continental and Elk Grove Village, Ill.-based United said they were linking their computer-reservation systems in a way that will let each carrier access those itineraries. The carriers said the change would make it easier for both to accept electronic-ticketed passengers from each other. More than 70% of United`s tickets and more than 50% of Continental U.S. tickets are paperless, the carriers said.
Both said they`d like to extend similar connections to all major carriers. United and Air Canada linked their paperless-ticket systems in June 1999. Continental and America West did the same a few months later, and Continental has a similar arrangement with Northwest.